The Treasure of Fellowship
Barbaranne Kelly, Guest Writer
…that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete (1 John 1:3-4).
Daily Treasure; what a fitting description of the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For the gospel is not only a treasure on the day when a believer’s heart is opened by grace to receive the gift of faith, nor is it merely a treasure awaiting a believer on the final day of their earthly pilgrimage, but it is filled with treasures for believers every day, here and now.
I have spent the last year marveling at the treasures of the gospel in 1 John. John begins this letter with the good news that the gospel is not only that I am saved from death and sin and will one day inherit eternal life; the good news is also that even now, while I still live in this fallen world, I am in fellowship with God the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, the Author of life has brought me into a living relationship with himself!
Furthermore, because I am in fellowship with God, I am brought into fellowship with his people. Sin not only alienated me from God but also from others. “But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph. 2:13-15). Because of Christ you and I are brought near to God and to one another—his people, his Church.
This is good news for so many reasons, and we will explore some of them this week. But today, don’t miss what John says immediately after sharing the good news of our redeemed fellowship—this fellowship brings complete joy. Knowing that we are in fellowship with our Creator and Redeemer doesn’t just bring us a sense of relief; it brings us JOY, complete, true, unshakable joy.
In Psalm 16, David expressed unshakable joy in his fellowship with God:
I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:8-11).
Because I am in fellowship with God, my heart is glad, my whole being rejoices; I know that I dwell secure—if not always here and now, certainly eternally—and this path of life in his presence brings fullness of joy, knowing that at his right hand there are pleasures forevermore. John expresses this same joy in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.
My family has moved many times over the years, big moves, from state to state, and each time we have been tempted to feel isolated and alone in our new surroundings. But we haven’t been alone, because our Lord was with us every step of the way. It’s been difficult to leave family and friends each and every time, and leaving my friend Lisa as her health deteriorated was the worst. But God sent Lisa a new friend who, along with Lisa’s husband, would walk with her through her worst years. In leaving, God taught me more than I would have learned by staying. With each move, God has blessed us immeasurably with himself and, once we found our new church home, with his people—each and every time.
Through Christ, God has brought us into fellowship with himself and with his people. Are you engaging in this relationship with him in prayer and time in his word? Are you connected with other believers as a member of a local church? Consider how fellowship with other believers has enriched your walk with God; how can you share that same blessing with others? Fellowship with God through prayer and the Word, and the fellowship of other believers are treasures of grace, made possible because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These are priceless treasures, and if you are a believer, they are yours.
Oh, Father, thank you for the gift of fellowship given to me in the gospel—that through the cross You have brought me near to You and to Your people. I pray that this treasure would grow increasingly precious in my eyes and that in You, and You alone, my joy would be complete.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Barbaranne Kelly and her husband Jim are the parents of five of the neatest people they know, and now Barbaranne is the Grandmommy to THREE grandboys! In October, that will change to FOUR! Barbaranne and Jim are members of Christ Presbyterian Church in New Braunfels, Texas, where she leads a Bible study for women in the hope that she and they may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge Enjoy and be inspired by more of Barbaranne’s writing at her blog.
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